After a year of futile diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the South China Sea disputes, the Philippines has risked permanent estrangement with China by pressing ahead with an unprecedented arbitration case before a United Nations court at The Hague, while ironing out a new security pact with the U.S.
Last year, the Philippines brought a complaint against China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal. It was a master stroke by the Philippine government.
Dissatisfied with the Philippines’ response to the 2010 Manila hostage crisis, which led to the death of eight Hong Kong residents and injuries to seven others, authorities took the unprecedented decision late January to impose travel restrictions against Filipino officials. The restrictions took effect Feb. 5.
After two years of intensive negotiations, the Philippine government and the country’s largest rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), have signed a final peace agreement, which paves the way for a lasting resolution of one of the world’s longest-running intra-state conflicts.
After two decades of aggressively privatising its public services, the Philippines is beginning to realise the cost of mindless market reforms.
Since Typhoon Yolanda made landfall in the Philippines on Nov. 8, the country has sent holders of its debt close to one billion dollars, surpassing, in less than two months, the 800 million dollars the U.N. has asked of international donors to help rebuild the ravaged central region of the archipelago.
Since his rise to power in late 2012, China’s President Xi Jinping has managed to consolidate his control swiftly over the three pillars of the Chinese political system, the state bureaucracy, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and the military. In response, many neighbouring countries cautiously welcomed a more self-confident and stable leadership in Beijing, hoping the new Chinese president will display greater flexibility on outstanding regional issues.
Last Sunday, I bought a bouquet of 45 small fresh yellow chrysanthemums. They cost me three dollars – not cheap for these parts. They were in a bucket in front of a tiny shop crammed with workers and customers in the heart of Tacloban City.
After months of rising tensions over disputed territories in the South China Sea, there are growing signs that the Philippine government is seeking to revive strained relations with Beijing. And no less than the Philippine President Benigno Aquino is spearheading the ongoing efforts to diplomatically resolve territorial disputes and prevent a disastrous conflict in the region.
Nearly two weeks after Typhoon Haiyan devastated parts of the central Philippines, experts and activists here are warning that post-disaster reconstruction needs to be more transparent than past such efforts, while also focusing on a long-term assistance strategy that goes beyond immediate emergency relief.
For the small island developing states of the Caribbean, there is nothing more important than the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place here at the national stadium of Poland from Nov. 11-22.
Relief operations in typhoon-devastated parts of the Philippines picked up pace Wednesday, but still only minimal amounts of water, food and medical supplies were making it to increasingly desperate survivors in the hardest-hit places.
Despite the government’s early warnings and evacuation of up to 800,000 people from vulnerable areas, the category 5 - the highest level - Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda to Filipinos) has left some communities and coastal zones in the central Philippine islands of Visayas in complete ruins.
Under the reformist leadership of President Benigno Aquino III who has placed “good governance” initiatives at the heart of his administration’s agenda, the Philippines has enjoyed an unprecedented period of economic revival and political stability.
With the administration of Philippines President Benigno Aquino III devoting much of its political capital to resolving the conflict in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, which has claimed around 150,000 lives over decades, many came to believe in the genuine possibility of a new era of stability and economic prosperity in the region.